The Titans are off the mark in 2019. And the Penrith Panthers are short of the mark in 2019, losing 30-24 on the Gold Coast to continue their muddling start to the season.
A penalty try in the 66th minute proved crucial but the Titans were the better outfit for much of the contest and won despite halfback Ash Taylor sitting out most of the game with a leg injury.
Medical staff said he would be allowed back if required but the playmaker wasn't needed, with Tyrone Roberts, AJ Brimson and Tyrone Peachey all excellent as they dictated play around a pack that was able to match brawn with the big Panthers pack.
Penrith didn't have a great deal of trouble getting over the line but couldn't find a way to keep a lid on the Titans, who almost had their season on the line as the only club without a win going into round five.
They simply had too much energy, scrambled well in defence and rallied when Penrith threw down the physical challenge in the second half. Coach Garth Brennan was overjoyed in the box as the siren went and for good reason; already there had been whispers about his job security.
Penrith had moments of clarity and direction but their defensive lapses were too costly – NRL Stats suggested they had 67 missed tackles. Allowing Jarrod Wallace to stroll over next to the posts, just as the Panthers seemed to have seized back control of the contest, was an indication of their night.
James Maloney opened the scoring after seven minutes when he speared over near the posts but he was productive and destructive in equal weather. Soon after, it was his error in the in-goal that allowed Roberts to level the scores.
Then, a 2019 first for the Titans. When Anthony Don nabbed the kick and was swung over the line by Penrith defenders, they took the lead for the first time in any game this year. It didn't last long but given the start to their season, it all counts.
They were trading tries. This time it was Viliame Kikau smashing his way through on the left edge from 10m out, dragging five Titans players with him along for the ride.
That lapse seemed to spark the Titans into life again. Michael Gordon went over to make it 18-12 after concerted pressure and the Titans headed to the break with a sniff of their first win of the season. Alas, they returned to let James Fisher-Harris walk over untouched almost immediately.
Brimson showed brilliant feet to skip through the Panthers' defence and race 60m to score. It was called back for an obstruction but whRead More – Source